Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The sharp hand of fate

There are certain conversations that become part of your academic landscape. Conversations where we exchange knowledge, opinions and ignorance in the form of hypotheticals pertaining to whatever field we happen to be studying. I remember this being particularly loose at art school, and the purest form of ignorant auto callipygian osculation while I was studying philosophy. These conversations have been a little more down to Earth while studying ICT. Well, to be strictly honest some of them are pretty wild, but for the most part they usual centre around professional projects or assessment tasks. The second most common of these concerns situation specific language preferences.

I was having one of these second most common conversations with some of my fellow study monkeys, when I was queried as to in which language I would prefer to work given a specific assessment task, Java or C# (C-Sharp). I gave the perfectly reasonable answer that I would prefer to work in Java, because I had no experience with C# and though I assumed it was similar to C++ (which it really isn't), I wasn't prepared to jump into a project without knowing where and how it differed.

Later that same day, I said to another student who had been absent from the original conversation, "I hope I never have to learn C Sharp, just so that I can decrease the risk of having to deal with people who call it C hash." BAM! Right there. The Fates heard that, and in it they saw a certain poetry in striking my wind-pinkened cheeks.

That was the Thursday before last, and it turns out that the Fates make up their own long weekends, because they got round to me on Monday last, when I met with my tutor with whom I am going to work on some research related activities, such as research. We had a similar, but far less hypothetical discussion about the project at hand, with the presented options being JavaScript and C#. Now, as a more experienced programmer with a foreign accent, he swayed me quickly and easily to his point of view, and C# became a part of my life.

As I considered the irony of this situation, I made my way to the library, only because getting even mildly across the new language seemed like the prudent thing to do, where I picked up a book with a fish on it. Not more than fifty metres from the library did I come across one of the students with whom I have forged some sort of social relationship. "Hey, you on your way to the tute?" he asked, referring to the next class that we shared. I responded in the affirmative, and the conversation lapsed momentarily. Noticing the book he continued, "Why are you learning C hash?", and so the nightmare began.

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